Tajikistan, Afghanistan mull CASA-1000 project

22 June 2018 16:17 (UTC+04:00)

By Kamila Aliyeva

The CASA-1000 project was discussed during the meeting of chairman of the lower house of the Tajik parliament Shukurjon Zuhurov and head of the Afghan government Abdullah Abdullah in Dushanbe on June 21.

The meeting focused on cooperation in trade and economic, energy, transport and communication spheres, as well as implementation of CASA-1000 project on construction of 500 kV transmission lines, Avesta reported.

Speaking about the export potential of Tajikistan, Zuhurov noted that from Tajikistan, cement and electricity are supplied to the Afghan market.

For example, in 2017 Tajikistan supplied about 1.4 billion kWh of electricity to Afghanistan, this year it is planned to increase this figure up to 1.5 billion kWh.

The meeting also focused on cooperation in the sphere of security, strengthening of borders and inter-parliamentary relations.

CASA-1000 is an interregional electricity transmission project in Central and South Asia to connect four countries - Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. It is presupposed that the project will create opportunities for the export of electricity surplus in summer period from Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan to Pakistan through Afghanistan.

The project is expected to bring peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region. The project may promote prosperity to the nations of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. The regional CASA-1000 project may have not only economic benefits for Afghanistan and Pakistan, but also make a positive impact on the security situation and political stability in these countries.

Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan have the world’s most abundant clean hydropower resources. Both countries have the surplus of electricity during the summer due to water cascading from the mountain ranges, while Afghanistan and Pakistan face chronic electricity shortages and cannot keep pace with demand for it.

The project initially also included transfer of electricity to Afghanistan, whilst the country abandoned its share of electricity due to dearth of demand. Thus, Pakistan will receive 1,300 megawatts of electricity.

Groundbreaking for the project took place on May 12, 2016 in Tajikistan in a ceremony attended by the Kyrgyz, Tajik, and Pakistani Prime Ministers. The total cost of CASA-1000 regional project is estimated at $1.2 billion and is expected to be completed by 2020. The expenses under the project are as follows: $314 million by Tajikistan, $209 million by Kyrgyzstan, $354 million by Afghanistan and $209 million by Pakistan.

Such international financial institutions as the World Bank (WB), the European Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), as well as the UK government and others act as investors in the project.

In particular, for the implementation of the Tajik section of the project, the World Bank will allocate $45 million, the IDB will allot $70 million, and the EBRD will allocate $110 million.

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Kamila Aliyeva is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Kami_Aliyeva

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